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Kazuhide Takahama

Miyazaki-Ken, 1930

Kazuhide Takahama was born in Miyazaki-Ken, in Japan, on April 1st 1930. He graduated in architecture in Tokyo and started working there in Kazuo Fujoka s studio. When he was 27 years old, Takahama designed the Japanese show for the XI Triennial in Milan in 1957, where he met Dino Gavina. They instantly got on well, despite the lack of a common language. After some years Takahama, who was fond of Europe, decided to move to Bologna in order to work with Gavina. He got in touch with Italian architects and designers, and lived their cultural atmosphere, thanks to which his artistic language...

Kazuhide Takahama was born in Miyazaki-Ken, in Japan, on April 1st 1930. He graduated in architecture in Tokyo and started working there in Kazuo Fujoka s studio. When he was 27 years old, Takahama designed the Japanese show for the XI Triennial in Milan in 1957, where he met Dino Gavina. They instantly got on well, despite the lack of a common language. After some years Takahama, who was fond of Europe, decided to move to Bologna in order to work with Gavina. He got in touch with Italian architects and designers, and lived their cultural atmosphere, thanks to which his artistic language evolved. For more than thirty-five years, Takahama has been living in Bologna, in fact his children and grand-children were born in Italy. His personality and career reflect his double influences: the oriental side in which he was raised and trained, and the occidental one, in which he submerged. Takahama s career cannot be separated from the couple Gavina-Takahama, that embodies the fundamental importance of personal relationships to do successful “good design”. Takahama is probably the most present and active figure in Gavina s path: he was there when Gavina held his famous meeting with Marcel Breuer in 1963, he has designed pieces of furniture for most of the companies Gavina created (Gavina SpA in 1960, Simon International in 1968, Sirrrah in 1974, and Simongavina in 1982), and he has even designed Gavina s Ultramobile factory and furniture in Calcinelli (Bologna, 1996), a building with a rare beauty and functionality that hosts Ultramobile since it split from Simon International.Takahama s first piece of furniture for Gavina spa is from 1957, the Taka bench, a multipurpose design with clear oriental features. The fact that it has not a defined specific function makes it perfect as a place where to rest in open spaces. Another of his outstanding works was the Marcel modular set composed of a puff, an armchair and a sofa, that Gavina conceived as a pop inspired tribute to his friend Marchel Duchamp. Produced by Gavina in 1965, Knoll went on making it until 1975. These informal pieces offer generously their surface and their imposing presence to give some rest in open spaces. The Sebastian chair, produced by Simon-Ultramobile in 1970, was also a solid piece of furniture, with great stability, that could be industrially manufactured and allowed its installation both in interior and open spaces. Finally, only to mention some, the sofas series Suzanne (1965), the Kazuki chair (1968) or the Kazuki2 lamp (Compasso d Oro award in 1976), are a great proof of Takahama s capacity to harmonize oriental beauty and occidental culture. Takahama s presence in Bologna, along with his reserved character and his noble and silent attitude, have awarded him a fame he has never sought. Having achieved his professional maturity, he has a rigorous profile, formally essential, enriched by a constant poetic touch and a stressed oriental sensitiveness.www.designitaliamuseo.it

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